Fresno State’s road struggles continued Saturday afternoon, with the Bulldogs also misfiring in their attempt to gain momentum heading into conference play after a loss to Utah in Salt Lake City.
The Bulldogs were plagued by poor shooting (20 of 62, 32.3 percent) and were outrebounded 43-37 by the Utes, who received double-doubles from Paige Crozon and Emily Potter in a 78-63 victory.
Fresno State is 0-3 on the road (1-1 at neutral sites) and has just two wins against NCAA D-I schools this season (69-55 vs. Northeastern and 57-52 vs. Cal State Bakersfield).
Crozon, a 6-foot-1 redshirt junior, scored a career-high 23 points, including four three-pointers, to go with 10 rebounds. Potter, a 6-6 redshirt sophomore forward, added 16 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.
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The Utes (6-3) broke away in the first quarter when the Bulldogs (4-7) hit a drought midway through the period, going 0 for 7 from the field. Crozon hit two three-pointers and Potter two layups to push the lead to 11.
23.5 percent Fresno State’s three-point shooting percentage against the Utes, making just 4 of 17 attempts
Fresno State cut the deficit to two in the second quarter, but that’s as close at it got. Utah maintained its lead, with Potter controlling the paint and Tanaeya Boclair making all five of her free throws for a 34-27 halftime lead.
The third quarter was déjà vu: Fresno State went on an 0-of-8 skid from the field, and the Utes put together a 12-0 run for a 19-point lead, largely fueled by their inside play. The Utes scored 30 points from the paint, compared to the Bulldogs’ 22.
0-8 combined shooting for Bulldogs starters Breanne Knishka and Alex Furr, also a combined 0 of 6 from three-point range
“I think everyone needs a break,” Bulldogs coach Jaime White said. “We’ve played some really good teams that tested us in different ways. I just think we’ve got to kind of step away for a second, come back, refocus and really try to define what we want out of this year and the conference season.”
Players and coaches will enjoy a short winter break and will return to practice Dec. 26. The Bulldogs will host UNLV in their Mountain West opener at 7 p.m. Dec. 30.
UNLV AT FRESNO STATE
- Dec. 30: 7 p.m. at Save Mart Center
- Records: Bulldogs 4-7, 0-0 Mountain West; Rebels 7-2, 0-0 (pending Saturday’s game vs. UTEP, Sunday vs. Long Beach State)✔
- Series: UNLV leads 16-12 and won the last meeting 73-70 in overtime Feb. 11
- Internet/radio: Mountain West Network (www.themwc.com)/KFPT (AM 790)